Take 5: Eddie Murphy's LI comedy roots
On "Eddie Murphy: One Night Only" (Nov. 14 at 10 p.m. on Spike TV), stars such as Chris Rock, Samuel L. Jackson and Tracy Morgan celebrate the comedian-actor's long career. But the roots of that career, of course, lie on Long Island:
1. On July 9, 1976, Murphy then 15, hosted a talent show at the Roosevelt Youth Center, after which he knew he wanted to pursue a career in show biz.
2. While attending Roosevelt Junior-Senior High School, he began performing at L.I. comedy clubs such as the Blue Dolphin in Uniondale and the White House Inn in Massapequa (whose proprietor, Richard M. Dixon, made his living imitating the 37th president of the United States).
3. Murphy eventually began performing at the East Side Comedy Club in Huntington, then L.I.'s premier venue for standups.
4. Murphy was a member of "The Identical Triplets," a comedy group with L.I. comedy stalwarts Bob Nelson and Rob Bartlett (both of whom are white). (He'd be introduced to the audience as "Irish" Eddie Murphy and then would crack up when the audience realized he was, um, not Irish.)
5. After graduating from Roosevelt High School in 1979 (where was voted "most popular boy"), he enrolled at Nassau Community College to study theater. Two years later, he was hired as a "featured player" on "Saturday Night Live."